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O'BRIEN, Raymond C. SR 1918-2011


Posted By: IA GenWeb Volunteer
Date: 5/25/2011 at 19:32:59

Raymond O'Brien

Raymond C. O’Brien, Sr. of Dubuque passed away peacefully March 29, 2011 at his home. Services were held Friday, April 1 at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Dubuque, with Father Thomas Zinkula officiating. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Key West.

Ray was born in Mason City, Iowa [July 5, 1918] but grew up in the community of Harpers Ferry. He was the son of William ‘Bill’ and Leocadia (Healy) O’Brien. Ray’s father was a farmer, so Ray learned to appreciate at an early age the land and the wonderful gifts it shares with the world.

Before entering the Army in World War II, Ray worked at his father’s dairy farm and performed locally as a saxophone player with Harry’s Troubadours band. Ray always described the band as small, but when they played “the crowd danced”. Ray loved music, especially a good dance piece. Ray and wife, Mary Irene, became accomplished ballroom dancers and were well known in Dubuque for their polished polka.
Ray entered the Army during World War II and spent more than three years in the fiercest combat of Northern Europe. Ray was a gunner in the field artillery and saw action at all the major battles of Northern Europe, including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Ray was wounded by shrapnel during the Battle of the Bulge and received a Purple Heart for his injuries.
After the Army, Ray returned to Harpers Ferry. He rekindled a friendship with Mary Irene [Melavin] that led to their marriage July 27, 1947. They were married at St. Anne’s Church in Harpers Ferry. Ray and Mary Irene later relocated to Dubuque, where Ray worked first at Caradco and then at the U.S. Postal Service. Ray retired from the Post Office after 27 years of faithful service. At the time of his retirement and in his late 60s, Ray was walking a 12-mile-a-day mail route.

Ray enjoyed his retirement with Mary Irene and their several generations of dogs, Peppy, Wendy, Bixie, Duffy, and Angel. They were especially proud of their Scottish terriers. Ray spent countless hours in his yard and garden or puttering around his garage. The wildlife that visited his yard never went without food or water. Ray had a deep admiration and affection for nature believing all creatures had an important place in this world. Ray’s roses were his pride and never failed to produce great and fragrant beauty.

The world is a less gentle place without Ray O’Brien in it. Ray was a quiet man with a shy smile. He loved to laugh, especially at himself. Ray was proud of his family, of the accomplishments achieved by his children and grandchildren. It delighted him to know of their successes and pleased him to brag about it. What a lovely person; he will be missed by all who knew him.

Ray is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Mary Irene; and seven of their eight children, Dennis (Gwen) O’Brien of Hilo, HI, David (Fran) O’Brien of Des Moines, Raymond (Fe) O’Brien, Jr. of the Philippines, Richard (Naomi) O’Brien, of Nevada, Linda (Clark) Wolff, of East Dubuque, IL, Joann (Bailey) Williams of San Antonio, TX, and Julie O’Brien of Austin, TX. In addition, Ray is survived by 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Ray's grandson, Austin Wolff, was of great help in the last year of his granddad’s life. Ray also is survived by his brother, John (Mary) O’Brien of Arizona; and sister, Marjorie Campion of California.
Ray was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan O’Brien; his sister, Rita Kottmer; and his parents, William ‘Bill’ and Leocadia O’Brien.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ray’s name to the charity of your choice or Camp Courageous Camp for special needs children.

The Waukon Standard, April 6, 2011


Posted By: Richard O'Brien
Date: 4/12/2011

Raymond Cyril O'Brien died March 29 2011 at his home in Dubuque, Iowa. His Father was William F. O'Brien and Mother was Leocadia Healy. Raymond died after a long battle with cancer. Many family members were with him when he passed away. Raymond was born in Mason City, Iowa July 05 1918. He grew up near Harpers Ferry, Iowa. Raymond entered the Army during WWII. He was in combat action in Northern Eourpe. Raymond married Mary Irene Melavin July 27 1947 in Harpers Ferry. They moved to Dubuque where he retired from the Post Office. He survived by His wife of 63 years Mary Irene. He is alos survived by 7 of 8 childern. Dennis & Gwen O'Brien, David & Fran O'Brien, Raymond & Fe O'Brien, Richard & Naomi O'Brien, Linda & Clark Wolff, Joann & Bailey Williams & Julie O'Brien. A brother John & Mary O'Brien and a siter Marjorie Campion. He is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery Key West, Iowa


Allamakee Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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